Why do we do it?

Have you ever stopped to ask: ‘Why do Recruiters recruit?

I look at our Arete team and see people who have a multitude of career options available to them all around the world, yet here they are in Silicon Valley, recruiting. It forced me to ask why: Why is Chris, an MBA who speaks four languages and has lived all over the world so enthusiastic about a career in recruiting? Or why Kristen, another global citizen, mother of two and one of the most genuine and likable people you will meet, recruiting? It also gave me pause to reflect on my own career ­ why do I do it, why do I enjoy it?

Historically recruitment has done a pretty lousy job at PR for its own industry, and unfortunately a good amount of the negative press was well enough founded in fact. Somewhere along the way, ‘headhunter’ became a dirty word, and recruiters were uttered in the same breath as used car salesmen. Fast-forward to today and an economy once again on a steep upward curve and conversation brimming with talk of dream jobs and career satisfaction – has much changed?

People have long assumed, rightly or wrongly, that recruiters are in it for the money. I can tell you from over a decade of experience having hired several teams and seen many more hired and fired around me, that the money is quite simply not that great for the vast majority of people who enter recruiting. So why do people keep flocking to this $3bn global business with the bad rap?

The answer is simple: Challenge and Reward

One word that sums up working in recruitment for me is rewarding! In our role as Recruiters we are challenged every day by something new. Particularly working with venture-backed innovators and disruptors we get to talk with some of the brightest and most inventive/creative people in the world: and solve problems FOR THEM!   I get a great kick out of seeing people that I have helped secure a new position succeed in their role and have a passion for what they are doing.

In successful recruiters there is a deep-seated sense of intrigue and inquisitiveness, They peel away layer after layer to get to the root motivators for their clients and candidates. Recruitment ultimately is equal parts problem solving, matchmaking, and psychology. It is also a win-win-win business, only when both the client and candidate win do we win. And while we win with a fee, we win at a deeper level from a job well done, from a client and candidate that felt heard, and will continue to foster their relationship with you.

“Find common ground with people” is a sleazy old salesperson’s trick and frankly passé. The recruiters who will be successful, and those whom you ask that love their job, care genuinely about the success of their clients and candidates. Does caring mean they place everyone they meet in their dream job? No, absolutely not, that would be overstating what it means to care. It means that they take the time to listen to what is being said and what is not being said, about what is important to the individual and the company; family, money, commute, career growth, respect, innovation, disruption… the list goes on. They take the time to understand what the driving factors are so that when the right opportunity does come up, or the right candidate walks in the room for the opportunity, they know when a match is a match.

The key to being a successful recruiter is in being able to view every viable candidate and every client as a long-term partner. In this industry it¹s all about networking, cultivating and maintaining long-lasting relationships. The focus should not simply be in placing a candidate in a ‘job’, but in placing them in a role where there is long-term career growth and development that is unavailable to them in their current environment.

As the recruiting industry becomes more and more competitive and jobs become more difficult to fill, the successful recruiter will be rewarded for focusing on the long-term match, while the recruiter who is looking for a quick fit for a quick buck will be left in the dust…

Technologies are continually changing and evolving so not only are we continually learning new things, but we are constantly amazed by what some people and companies can achieve and knowing that we play just a small part in that is genuinely inspiring.

So, for all of these reasons, and numerous more, I understand why my great team do what they do, and commend them for it.